April 19, 2011

I'm In!

Faithful readers may remember me grousing about the lack of LGBT support and/or discussion at the annual church educators' convention I attended in February. I complained on Facebook too, and a friend responded, "You should teach a workshop about it." The idea wouldn't leave me alone, and I submitted a proposal within days of the deadline. A couple of weeks ago, a member of the selection committee called my boss and asked about my teaching style. My boss graciously gave a glowing report, having recently seen me in action for the very first time.

I just learned today that my proposal has been accepted. Woohoo! Here's the workshop blurb:

All God’s Children: Teaching Children About Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity

The headlines of teen suicides reveal the devastating impact of teasing and bullying based on orientation and gender. The Christian community has a responsibility to model respect and offer grace to all people, regardless of their differences. When is the right time and what are the right words for teaching about gender diversity and sexual orientation? Open and caring conversation helps children develop a foundation of acceptance—of themselves and others.

I have many months to develop the content and will need it, since I have not taught this subject before. I'll be asking lots of organizations for help, but I feel really good about being able to do this. The timing is excellent, as our denomination is in the process of voting to approve the ordination of LGBT individuals as elders and pastors. This subject has been in the spotlight for the past sixteen years and voted on three previous times. It is very likely that it will pass this time: the vote currently sits at 80 presbyteries for, 51 against. A simple majority of 87 is needed to pass, and voting ends in September, I believe. With this so much in our national church's headlines, my workshop is needed.

Wow. My heartrate is up. I need to get to work on this.

April 8, 2011

The Shirt Of Shirts

My friend and prolific fellow blogger Ur-Spo is a psychiatrist. When he isn't shrinking heads, one of his hobbies is making Hawaiian shirts. I can't remember how he got the idea, but he decided to ship one of his shirts to friends around the country (and out of it); and those who wear it and post a picture will get to choose one of four organizations to which he will donate a small sum of money. Is this a great idea or what?

The shirt Ur-Spo chose is an impeccably tailored pattern of Hawaiian shirts, thus earning the name The Shirt of Shirts. I'm thrilled to be on the list of recipients.

Each Monday, Sophie comes to work with me. She is the unofficial mascot of the church library volunteers, and we have lunch with them each week. Christine (center) can't stop herself from feeding Sophie from her lunch, so I've had to supply her with doggie kibble from home. Here's a shot of us with three of my friends from the church library: Rev. Ray, Christine, and Joe.

On Wednesdays I leave Sophie at home and go downtown to volunteer at the Damien Center, Indiana's premier HIV/AIDS support center. I posed with Wes, one of the testers, and Phil, a fellow volunteer. They are really sweet guys.

When my daughter saw my outfit, she asked why I was wearing scrubs.

For the charity to receive Spo's donation, I choose his local HIV/AIDS organization. Thank you, Spo, for the honor. Who's next?

Update: Buddy Bear, the previous recipient of The Shirt, has posted an exhaustive list—with links—of all who have worn it thus far. Warning: NSFW.

Update II: The Shirt of Shirts is on its way to Richmond, VA, and Kelly of Rambling Along in Life.